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Congratulations!  Your short story was selected as a Runner Up in the 2016 Haunted Waters Press Fiction & Poetry Open!  We loved this story so much it became the inspiration for the cover of the 2016 issue of From the Depths. What inspired you to write "Blodeuwedd?" 

  1. I came across Blodeuwedd when I was researching for another story. In Welsh mythology, she is created to be a man’s wife since he can never marry a human woman. I won’t spoil it, but suffice to say she wasn’t a happy bride.

  2. I wanted to tell the story of what would happen if Blodeuwedd was the hero – what would a being who’s more tree than human want? 


What other forms and genres do you enjoy writing?

  1. I’m focusing on longer form now, which has been a departure for me. In the past I’ve written exclusively short stories and flash fiction, so getting into novels has been a bit like trying to run a marathon after training for sprints.


Where do you find your ideas and inspiration?

  1. Everywhere. I’ve got a little notebook I keep with me to jot observations and ideas down, and I’ll read that when I’m getting stuck. It’s a mess: one page says, what kind of person would want an anglerfish for a pet? next to young boy at bus stop dancing ballet – no parents next to reminder: google bog people.


How long have you been writing?

  1. Seriously, for a couple years. Before that I was dabbling. When I was an undergrad at the University of Oregon one of my professors told me that no one would ever care but me if I continued writing, and that was the kick in the butt I needed to start writing daily.


What is your writing day like?

  1. I’m getting my MFA in fiction right now, so I’m at a rare period in my life where I’m given time and space to write. If I’m teaching that day, I’ll try to grab an hour or two between classes to write or read. If I’m not teaching, I’ll be working on my thesis, which is a novel.


Are there any authors who have influenced your writing?

  1. Oh, yeah. Karen Russell, Amelia Gray, Shakespeare, Joyce Carol Oates, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, George Saunders, Lauren Groff, Kelly Link, Kazuo Ishiguro, Virginia Woolf, Ramona Ausubel, JK Rowling, Ovid, Mark Twain, Tobias Wolff, and many, many more.


What are you reading right now?

  1. Battleborn by Claire Vaye Watkins, which I’ve been meaning to read since she talked about it in her essay On Pandering. I just finished The Empathy Exams by Leslie Jamison, which I highly recommend.


What words do you live by? Do you have a personal motto?

  1. “Go to Heaven for the climate, Hell for the company.” – Mark Twain


Where can we find other works from Sarah Wheeler? 

  1. Blodeuwedd is the first story I’ve sent out for publication, and you’re the first to publish me. Thank you!


What’s next? Do you have any writing projects on the horizon?

  1. Right now most of my creative energy is going into my thesis. I’ve also got a few short stories on my laptop in various stages of completion that I’m hoping to start sending out for publication in the next few months.


If you could share any advice for aspiring writers, what would it be?

  1. You've got to write: this is the simplest and most difficult thing we do. You've got to sit down at your keyboard and type, even when the words aren't forming like you want them to, even when you've been working all day and your brain is on autopilot. It's so easy to let a day go, and then three, and then a week, and then this thing that you had in your head - this potentially rare, exciting, you thing - never gets a chance. You've got to write.





Sarah Wheeler grew up in Portland, Oregon, and now lives in Northern Virginia. She is a fiction candidate at George Mason University. 

 

Direct from the pages of the literary journal, From the Depths, Penny Dreadful's select works of exceptionally small flash fiction are now showcased within the HWP Penny Poster Collection.


Featured in this round of Penny Fiction: Nick Almeida, Richard Chetwynd, Sarah Vernetti, M. E. Wilding, K.L. Cobb, Lee DeAmali, Craig Gist, Jason R. Furtak, Lisa Reily, Janet Stevenson, Bill Teitelbaum, Jennifer Ruth Jackson, Debra Hurst, V.C. McCabe, Adam Barron, Swati Mahapatra, Bryce Worrell, Elane Johnson, Kizzi Roberts, Karen Lettice, Heather MacDonald, Erin O'Shea, J.D. Bretton, Joe Bogle, Brian Beatty, Marie H. Mittmann, and Matthew Vasiliauskas

Penny Fiction

Flash Fiction Writing Competition 2016: